July Sales Rise for Single-Family Homes, But Prices Decline : Real estate: Total sold for the month climbs 28% over the previous year while the average cost of a single-family house falls 9%.


Sales of previously owned homes in the San Fernando Valley continued to rebound in July, with 1,194 single-family houses and condominiums changing hands, up 22% from 978 sales a year earlier.

Total sales in July were down 6% from June, when 1,271 houses and condominiums were sold. But a slowdown in sales during mid-summer is typical, according to the San Fernando Valley Assn. of Realtors, which compiles the housing data.

Despite the surge in year-over-year sales, prices of houses and condominiums continued their downward trek.

The association cited low prices--including deep discounts on properties damaged in the January earthquake--as a key reason for climbing sales. The realty group also noted an abundance of potential buyers and low interest rates available for mortgage loans.


Association President Alice McCain said “the feeling among local real estate professionals is that August-closed escrows will be even higher than July.”

A total of 1,060 single-family houses changed hands in July, a 28% increase from the 828 sales a year before, but down 6% from 1,125 sales in June.

The average price of a single-family house sold last month was $223,400, a 9% decline from the July, 1993, average sales price of $246,000, and 3% below the average price of $229,800 in June.

The median price of a single-family house in July fell 5%, to $185,000, from $195,000 a year earlier, but gained 5% from the $176,000 median sales price in June. The median price means that half the houses sold in July cost more than $185,000 and half cost less.


The number of condominiums sold last month declined 11% from July, 1993, to 134 from 150, and sales fell 8% from 146 condominiums sold in June.

The average price of a condominium dropped to $115,900 in July, down 17% from $138,800 a year ago and 3% lower than the average price of $119,700 in June.


The median sales price of condominiums sold in July was $119,000, down 9% from a $130,000 median price a year earlier, but 6% higher than June’s $112,600 median price.


Also in July, the inventory of available properties for sale continued to decline from 1993 levels. The number of active listings last month was 8,363, 35% below the 12,854 active listings in July, 1993, but slightly higher than 8,304 in June.

Jim Link, the association’s executive vice president, said he expects median prices to continue declining until at least the end of the year.

He also said that the typical length of time it takes to sell a house--111 days--has remained constant and is not dependent on price.

“Some properties sell overnight,” Link said. “But that nearly four-month marketing time frame is consistent in every price range, even in the very active lower price ranges.”


The Valley realty group, the largest in California, has 7,800 members from North Hollywood to Calabasas. Its figures generally do not include sales of new homes.

July Valley Homes Sales

NORTH WEST Avg. Price: $249,300 Sales: 43

NORTH CENTRAL Avg. Price: $206,000 Sales: 179


NORTH EAST Avg. Price: $141,200 Sales: 152

SOUTH WEST Avg. Price: $264,800 Sales: 311

SOUTH CENTRAL Avg. Price: $245,700 Sales: 140

SOUTH EAST Avg. Price: $217,200 Sales: 235